Choose Your Own Adventure

One of my students is convinced that all the choices we make are predetermined and that free will is an illusion. We have loads of great conversations about this. Just this week, we were talking about how he is a product of his experiences and therefore primed to inevitably respond a certain way in the future. I agree with some of his points because I’ve had life experiences that primed me to respond to my trauma in certain ways.

However, I still believe there is an element of choice in my life. I choose joy. I was talking to this same kid about the memoir Surprised by Joy, joking that he ought to love reading about a young boy who goes to boarding school and abandons his Christian faith to become a devout atheist and then some other stuff happens. He laughed because he knows the other stuff is C. S. Lewis’s reconversion and trajectory to become one of the most well known apologists of Christianity. In his own words, though, Lewis talks about the deep desire for this thing called “joy” and how he sought it out in various places through life.

I shared last week how there were imperfections in my life, but I’m still deeply joyful about the incredible life I have. I have made the choice to see the good things, and I’m so happy about this past week of sunshine and squats, wind and walks. I was thinking a lot about my choices after I watched the Black Mirror movie Bandersnatch because it’s a choose your own adventure movie where the protagonist becomes self aware of choices being made for him – at least in the version I watched. 

As a Christian, I try to listen to the direction of the Holy Spirit to help me make better life choices, but I still embrace the paradox that I choose to follow a sovereign God who first chose to love me. That plays out in the way that I treat my mind and body, and this week I had a restful break from busyness while being intentional to care for my soul. I loved every minute of the conversations with people across at least eight different countries while I was fully present in caring for my fickle body in one place. No major breakthroughs in my physical progress to report this week, but I was faithful with the ability I have to love God and love others. Hopefully my holistic choices to care for myself have payoff evident in my physio session with Mike tomorrow.

Regardless of the outcome, I know for sure I’ll still choose Jesus. As the fisher of men Peter put it in response to Jesus, “To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

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